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Keywords:

  • rCHO cells;
  • Ras;
  • cell growth;
  • inducible expression;
  • erythropoietin

Abstract

Constitutively active Ras (CA-Ras) is known to enhance cell growth through the induction of various signaling cascades including the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK)/ERK signaling pathways, although the cellular response is highly dependent on the cell type. To evaluate the effect of CA-Ras overexpression on cell growth in recombinant Chinese hamster ovary (rCHO) cells, an erythropoietin (EPO)-producing rCHO cell line with regulated CA-Ras overexpression (EPO-off-CA-Ras) was established using the Tet-off system. The CA-Ras expression level in EPO-off-CA-Ras cells was tightly regulated by doxycycline addition. Although CA-Ras overexpression slightly increased the viable cell concentration during the late exponential phase, it did not increase the maximum viable cell concentration or specific growth rate to a significant degree. Unexpectedly, CA-Ras overexpression in rCHO cells led only to the enhancement in the activation of the MAPK/ERK signaling pathway and not the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway. Taken together, CA-Ras overexpression in rCHO cells did not significantly affect cell growth; it also had no critical impact on viable cell concentration or EPO production, possibly due to a failure to activate the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway. © 2011 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Biotechnol. Prog., 2011